J.T. Barrett got quite the compliment yesterday from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who said the redshirt freshman quarterback is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

J.T. Barrett got quite the compliment yesterday from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who said the redshirt freshman quarterback is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

"I don't know if my endorsement matters," Meyer said. "But I've been fortunate to coach some guys that have been to New York (for the ceremony, including 2007 winner Tim Tebow of Florida), and he (Barrett) is a Heisman candidate."

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The good thing, Meyer said, is "J.T. is a Heisman candidate that knows that he could have played much better Saturday, and that's the best thing about coaching these guys right now."

Barrett is one touchdown pass away from matching the OSU season record of 30 set by Troy Smith in 2006, his Heisman year. Barrett still has at least three games to play because the Buckeyes are a lock to go to a bowl game. That could stretch to four if they do as expected on Saturday against Indiana and clinch their second straight trip to the Big Ten title game. And if they advance to the first four-team College Football Playoff, they could play as many as five more games.

Barrett seems a lock to be named Big Ten freshman of the year after today being named the league's freshman of the week for the sixth time, tying the record set by Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase in 2010. Barrett had 389 yards of total offense in a 31-24 win at Minnesota on Saturday. He set a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 189, including an 86-yard TD run that's the longest ever by a Buckeyes QB.

Getting over it

Redshirt freshman hybrid back Jalin Marshall had a hot and cold afternoon at Minnesota. His catch-and-run for a touchdown was trumped by his two turnovers, one of which (fumble) wiped out a possible touchdown and another (muffed punt catch) set up a Gophers score. He was the brunt of some fairly hateful messages on social media the past few days, something receivers coach Zach Smith counseled him about handling.

"It kind of comes with the territory, right? People are going to praise you for doing well, they're going to be critical when you do something that's not positive," Smith said. "It's something that comes in the growing process of an athlete at this level that he's got to get used to, and I think he is, just understanding with the good comes the bad."

Marshall was unavailable for comment, but cornerback Eli Apple said teammates would "hug him up" this week in support. And linebacker Darron Lee said the negative reaction from some is another lesson learned for players.

"Fans are going to be fans, and we would hope that the fans would stay positive on our shortcomings if we don't do as well, but there will be those types of (negative) people out there," Lee said.

Marshall is still the first-string punt returner and will factor into the offensive plan as he did before.

"But fumbling the football is unacceptable, and we will continue to stress that," Smith said.

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports